Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks responded to going without a catch and having one pass thrown his way in Sunday’s 38-0 drubbing by the Panthers by telling reporters to look elsewhere for the reason why he was a total non-factor.
“It’s part of the game,” Nicks said. “You’ve got to control what you can control. I can’t throw it to myself.”
Nicks’ comments made their way back to quarterback Eli Manning and coach Tom Coughlin on Monday. Manning shrugged them off as frustration that everyone on the team was experiencing in the wake of a humbling loss and pointed out that Nicks may have been particularly frustrated since he was playing in his hometown. Coughlin was a little less willing to let the wideout off the hook, however.
“I’ll talk to him,” Coughlin said, via Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger. “That’s not a smart thing to say. He’s on the field, quarterback was sacked seven times hit what, 15 times? That’s not a smart thing to say. Oh, I’ll talk to him about it, sure.”
The lack of protection for Manning on Sunday makes it hard to take any complaints about the amount of passes thrown in any direction seriously. Manning wasn’t choosing to ignore Nicks, he was running for his life. The Giants clearly have to find a way to block more effectively up front, but they may also need to do some different things to get the ball out earlier since it is going to be hard to overhaul the line on the fly without real candidates for starting jobs waiting in the wings.